A retired Idaho police captain was found to have had ties to white racist groups during his tenure with the Boise Police Department.
Matthew Bryngelson, whose 22-year law enforcement career ended with his retirement in August, appears in the list of speakers a conference organized by American Renaissance, a website promoting white supremacist views.
Bryngelson, who was scheduled to give a talk entitled “The Vilification of Police and What it Means for America,” was credited under the alias Daniel Vinyard, the name of a neo-Nazi character in the 1998 film American History X.
Bryngelson’s participation in the conference attracted attention on the internet after Twitter user Molly Conger posted a thread about it over the weekend.
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The conference website described Bryngelson as “a retired, racially realistic police officer with 30 years of experience including gang enforcement, SWAT and drug detective.” The entry features a photo of Bryngelson in his police uniform.
Reportedly, so does Bryngelson written posts in which he noted the time in his police career when he “became aware of black people’s violent tendencies.”
The group’s website also had an hour long video in which Bryngelson as Daniel Vinyard is interviewed by American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor. Although the video was posted in September, it is dated May 8, when Bryngelson was still captain. The video is no longer visible on the site.
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During the interview, Bryngelson tells Taylor that black offenders commit crimes “that common sense cannot even comprehend…let alone carry out.”
He also argued that the killings of black men by police officers could have been avoided if they had complied with the authorities.
In September, Bryngelson was one of the officers who Filed a complaint against former Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee. The Asian-American official, who was previously under investigation over allegations that he injured an officer during a restraint demonstration, was shortly after ordered to resign by Boise Mayor Lauren McLean.
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“I was torn because I cared so much about the city and the community and the 110 or so officers that I was the captain,” Bryngelson told KTVB. “But I just couldn’t do it physically anymore. It ruined my life.”
Bryngelson’s involvement in white supremacist groups coincided with his time serving as the host of the BPD’s weekly podcast.The BPD beat‘ in which he interviewed other officers, civilians and community members.
Episodes of “BPD Beat” have ranged from supporting the department’s LGBTQ pride events to her collaboration with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
In a statement released Monday, the BPD convicted Bryngelsons actions and remarks made toward people of color “in our department and in our community” as “offensive and disturbing.”
“We have communicated internally to all members of this agency in every capacity that if anyone shares these types of thoughts, feelings, values or ideologies, this department and work area is not for them,” the statement said. “As a department, we are committed to taking swift action against anyone who may have similar feelings.”
On Sunday, Mayor McLean released a tweet announcing that she was aware of Bryngelson’s involvement in white supremacist activities, which she viewed as “racist, dehumanizing propaganda.”
“The fact that such a person was able to serve in the department for two decades is appalling,” wrote McLean. “The people of Boise deserve a police department worthy of their investment and trust, and we are launching a full investigation accordingly.”
Mayor McLean announced on Monday that a full investigation into Bryngelson be launched.
Featured image above Boise Police Department